Although he generally hates talking about himself or his past, Terry Wilcox humbly and transparently shares the amazing journey of his life with Jesus. Terry explains the decisions that set the course for his life–accepting Jesus, surrendering his life to the Holy Spirit and telling God he would embrace any opportunity God provided to talk about Him–and he reveals the incredible adventures that were in God’s plan for a “farm boy from Western Pennsylvania who barely got through college”. Terry also shares the conclusions of a life lived fully with Jesus–God is faithful and His grace is sufficient.
With remarkable humility, Gerardo Lambert shares for the first time publicly “the truth”–the incredible FULL story of how God pulled him out of darkness and gave him a second chance.
Gerardo vulnerably talks about his first marriage (with three daughters) and becoming lost in the world of fashion modeling–endless parties, drugs and alcohol in order to “fit in”. He talks about the pleas from his mother to seek God and his repeated dismissals of her pleas. He then takes us through the decision to run away from that life and transition to becoming a fitness trainer and amateur bodybuilder, all while ( unbeknownst to him) his heart was deteriorating and growing to the size of a football.
Gerardo shares the excruciating journey from a fit and healthy fashion model, trainer and amateur bodybuilder in his 20’s to suddenly: being unable to lift weights; having a defibrillator implanted; being upgraded to a pacemaker; suffering multiple heart attacks and life-saving shocks from the devices; flat-lining; being put into an induced coma for 3 months waiting for a new heart (in which he lost 1/2 his body weight as well as most muscle function); getting a new heart accompanied by a miraculous encounter with God; and, finally, being inspired to develop a fitness routine he calls “BodyShock”. It is the encounter with God that Gerardo has kept to himself for a decade for fear it would be met with ridicule and disbelief. Gerardo finally shares what he refers to as “the truth”.
Peter Scalzo shares, with great vulnerability, how his 14-year cancer journey (which has included 15 surgeries, being told 6 times he has cancer, being told twice that he should make “end of life” preparations, and being told by the world’s top oncologists that he should not be alive) has been used by God as a tool of transformation and how it has been more of a spiritual and emotional trial than a physical one. Scalzo reveals that it was the reflections of a cancer widow that led him to consider the legacy he was leaving his children–she told him that her husband “didn’t leave enough of himself behind”.
After considering his legacy, Scalzo wanted to leave his six children with the two key ingredients that have allowed him to find hope in his suffering–“surrender and trust”. In explaining what “surrender” and “trust” have come to mean to him, Scalzo reveals his conclusions that we are unable to control anything other than how we respond to our circumstances and that pain is an invitation to change.
Scalzo also shares, with incredible transparency, a “dark night of the soul” experience in 2015 when he spent four days in an ICU. He tells about the depths of his depression, fear, anger and sadness and, more importantly, how God showed up to reveal 23 truths that brought back hope and continue to allow him to face extraordinary circumstances with unimaginable peace.
Bill Blezard shares the extraordinary faith journey that ultimately led to the founding, growth and success of Packaging Technology Group, Inc., a “Kingdom” class developer of thermally engineered, transport packaging solutions for the biotech and biopharmaceutical industries. PTG is a Christian faith-based company with its core values centered on faith, relationships, courage, and creativity.
In addition to recounting highlights of his personal life story, challenges and faith walk, Blezard describes the numerous acts of faith and obedience and the miraculous events that allowed PTG to achieve profitability in its first year of operations, exceeding revenue projections by nearly 1000%. He also shares how PTG’s faith-based culture serves, and has opened doors to prayer and transformation in, PTG’s employees, suppliers and customers.
Scott Semple, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Correction, shares with great humility, transparency and emotion how the loss of his 15 year old son to cancer equipped him with the boldness to accept the position of Commissioner and take on the challenge of reforming Connecticut’s correctional facilities.
Together with Connecticut’s Governor, Semple visited prisons in Europe and witnessed “dignity, hope and humanity” in the system. He vowed to find a way to bring those qualities into the culture and operation of the Connecticut correctional system. In addition to sharing his heart for reform, Semple explains the six pillars he is instituting to complement Connecticut’s Second Chance Initiative. He also shares the reform journey that he and his staff have been on for the past few years, including a pilot project unlike any other prison experiment in the country. After 13 months, the results of the pilot are nothing short of extraordinary.
Click the link below to view a PDF of the slides used with Commissioner Semple’s presentation.